So here’s a question for the Paper of Record: Can a reporter ethically accept a gift from a company he covers if the reporter gives it to a family member, or a friend? We ask because superstar tech reporter Nick Bilton admitted to doing so—or at least attempting to—on last week’s episode of Leo Laporte’s "This Week in Tech" podcast. Here’s what Bilton said:
Nearly a year ago, Newsroom star Alison Pill accidentally tweeted a very NSFW picture of herself lying in bed. On Tuesday’s episode of Conan, Pill blamed her then-new touchscreen Blackberry phone. (She was apparently accustomed to the phone manufacturer’s physical keyboards.) Discussing the incident, she told Conan O’Brien:
There's nothing worse than owning a BlackBerry in 2012. At least that's the picture The New York Times painted today with its portrait of grief, "The BlackBerry as Black Sheep." We're not all as fortunate as one of the article's subjects, Nick Mindel, who is now making the upgrade to an iPhone 5. BlackBerry owners need some ground rules if they're going to keep these dreaded things around. This is the BBMB—the BBM bible.
To say it had not been a great fourth-quarter for Research in Motion, the Canada-based makers of BlackBerry, would be putting it mildly. There was that embarrassing North American outage, flatlining sales of their new smartphones amid steady growth for competitors, and a stock that has depreciated 77 percent since February of this year. What these guys could really use right about now is some positive publicity. Hahahahahahaha! Sorry.
White collar professionals across America are spinning their trackwheels in vain today, the day the Personal Digital Assistants died. Widespread BlackBerry outages in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India reached North America today, leaving thousands of cubicle dwellers in the U.S. and Canada mashing their fingers against microscopic keypads in vain.
The London riots are being blamed in part on the encrypted Blackberry Messenger service British youth are using to communicate. Blackberry manufacturer RIM has pledged to cooperate with the police. Now hackers have hit back, and are threatening to release sensitive information if RIM gives up rioters' Blackberry info.
Sporting some kind of hideous quarter-goatee, Kneale, then at Forbes, allowed the Today show to confiscate his BlackBerry, back in 2007. He surely though it would be a glorious publicity stunt on a national stage; that Kneale only lasted 40 hours out of a week indicates he lost control of the situation, and that his on-camera tears were real.